To Something Brighter

To something brighter.

The place is a veritable disaster wrought of creative play. My desk is stacked with dozens of drawings all done in the last 24 hours. Modeling clay creatures made this afternoon. Ink stamps and pads lay all over H.o.p.’s computer keyboard. He was painting this afternoon too and his paints are out. Last year he made a papier mache dragon head (I helped a good bit but he drew the model) which he started to color but never finished it. I knew he’d probably one day want to finish it and after leaving it out for months I put it in the back room. Early this evening he started hunting for the dragon head, where was it. I brought it out for him and he painted it blue. Ready by now. I don’t know why now and not before but I knew he would get around to it one day which was why I’d saved it. He comes running in with 12 pens in his right hand and a three inch stack of paper in his left and sits down before the computer and pushes the ink pads and stamps off and puts his pens on the pad and starts drawing again. Blocks lie strewn all over the floor from things he was building and crashing earlier. A mask he made yesterday lies on the floor in the middle of the blocks. And one of his toy robots. There are cotton balls and felt everywhere from transient puppets, stryofoam balls with ink eyes drawn on them litter the floor, cut-up pipe cleaners out of which he made a small forest, sticking them in another block of styrofoam and parachuting a toy man on it that he got the other day at a birthday party. Play doh and modeling clay everywhere, the rugs, the futon. Cut-outs also of more dinosaurs he’s drawn in the past couple of days

Neopets can get sick. You go back to visit your Neopet on the computer and somehow it is sick. H.o.p.’s was sick and he isn’t a maniac about playing the games, he likes to draw the Neopets, so he has no points. He doesn’t worry about points for food because you can get free soup if you don’t have many points. He gathered enough points to build his Neopet a twig house and he was satisfied with that. Then the Neopet was sick and needed, the game said, “medicinal soap”. He had 200 Neopet points. There was no medicinal soap at the Neopet pharmacy to buy and H.o.p. was greatly concerned, had to make his Neopet well. I went to the Shop Wizard and found where “medicinal soap” was being sold. The bars ranged in cost from 9,000 to 13,000 points. And H.o.p. with only 200 Neopet points.

For which reason I now have a modeling clay Neopet on my desk. He made a copy of his Neopet out of modeling clay so it would be well, and now he’s not very greatly concerned with the online Neopet needing a 10,000 point bar of medicinal soap. Which is a good thing. A child in grief over an ill Neopet wouldn’t be good.

Lots of creativity charging around that seven-year-old brain.

And I need to clean up.

What does the corporate monster look like?

“What does the corporate monster look like?” H.o.p. says and hands me a piece of paper from his 3 inch high stack and a pen. “Draw it for me?”

H.o.p. has recently discovered Neopets and he wants a Neopet toy and of course at the Neopet website they have all the toys and where you can buy them. H.o.p. wanted one of them that was written to be only available at Wal-Mart.

Continue reading What does the corporate monster look like?

Why can I never remember Karl Rove’s face?

I never can remember Karl Rove’s face. Rumsfeld is easy. When I think Rumsfeld I think Wes Craven’s “Hellraiser”. Rumsfeld has always, always been “Hellraiser” to me. But Rove? Nothing. A suit with a zero for a head.

Continuing.

My son can draw like crazy. This is not one of his drawings-drawings. This is my son doing a quick deliberation on what he was at that moment considering andwhat he was considering was evolution. He brought it in, dropped it in husband’s lap, said, “This is a picture of evolution,” and went on to sketch something else.

He has about as much problem with the idea we arose from an ancestor common with the apes, as he does with our having crawled out of the briney ocean on our bellies. Which is zero. One will note that the stick-human is carrying something. A suitcase. I guess more important than us having a heavy investment in making tools is the fact we move around and carry them from place to place.

We have talked about this and read some to him on it in a casual manner. Then he was asking about all this last week and we spent a while talking time, long stretches of time and mutations upon surviving mutations, and really long stretches of time. Because for him, at seven, there’s the matter of context to be absorbed which in this case is lots and lots of time, and it’s that he ended up trying to comprehend.

Anyway, we homeschool. In red state Georgia. And we believe in evolution.

And because we homeschool I thankfully don’t have to put up with this kind of shit, (via Pharyngula) Beauty Dish being called down to the school to pick up her son who was being suspended for the day for the following:

So she told me what he did. And as she told me, I started to laugh. I didn’t laugh a little, either, but I belly-laughed and grabbed my stomach. My son stood with his class this morning, put small right hand over heart, faced the American flag, and recited his own personal pledge of allegiance:

I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United Federation of Planets, and to the galaxy for which it stands, one universe, under everybody, with liberty and justice for all species.

“Mrs. Jaworski. This isn’t humorous. The Pledge is an extremely important and patriotic moment each morning in the classroom. I am ashamed of your son’s behavior, and I hope you are, too.”

I wanted to say, Hey Lady, it’s a big universe. Why should we pledge allegiance to a mixed-up country? Why shouldn’t my son embrace the potential of stardust? But I stood, extended my hand, apologized for my laughter, slung my purse over my shoulder, opened her door to find my son, 8, red-eyed sitting on the wooden bench bordering the World Map wall.

And there you have one of the reasons for which my son is homeschooled, because had it been me, I wouldn’t have extended my hand and apologized, I would have said something off-the-top-of-my-head down the order of, “Well, rather than being ashamed of my son I happen to be proud of him for exhibiting a measure of sanity and pledging to honor the idea of affinity universal rather than mindless acceptance of imperialist lies and subservience to the slaughtering greed of slave-hungry corporations. My son is learning to measure actions against words and make calls on what’s proven specious and rather than being brainwashed into accepting two and two makes five, believe me, he’s going to call you on it every time. He does it at home, I will not tell him not to do it here. And if you have a problem with this then you and your teachers need to put on the seatbelts and get ready for a hell of a ride, but at least his peers will get an education.”

That’s what I would have done. Ask my husband. Ask my public school teachers, who hated me with the exception of a precious few. Ask the individual I knew from high school, who eight years ago, before son H.o.p. decided to show up unexpectedly, saw us with a van and said everyone he knew who’d gotten a van ended up with a kid in a couple of years and he wanted to be there when I showed up at the PTA meetings.

But continuing, the principal would have gone Karl Rove on me. I would have gone Shakespeare’s Sister on her and then told her all about cutting away shadows.

And I would not have then opened the door to find my son sitting red-eyed on a bench because I would have demanded that he be present at the conference as he should be there to hear exactly what was said about him and be able to voice his side.

I am not criticizing how Beauty Dish did things. I’m just saying what would have happened had it been me, and I don’t even like confrontation. Which is a reason why we homeschool. The school would want to deal with me about as much as they’d want to deal with a boy who doesn’t, in the first place, have the disposition to sit hours at a desk being lectured to and told what to do. He doesn’t like being fed knowledge. He likes being shown what’s available and then pursuing it on his own with someone there to talk to him about it (me or his dad), asking someone to go through it with him on different points (me or his dad), and then he’ll say that’s enough for now and mull and return to it a day or a week or three weeks later to learn and mull some more, or he’ll sit with it for four days straight mulling on one point alone.

I seriously doubt people like Karl Rove had that opportunity, if they so desired it, when they were 6 and 7 and 8 years of age.

I was back at the bottom of the hill, it was night, and I had started my walk up it

Wednesday a.m. I was still stressing over CSS when from the other room came ooo, nice tingly tinkly xylophone on PBS Kids. Early millennium gateway to jazz of yesteryear. For the second time in two days I felt briefly upbeat. And then PBS took my new happy theme music away and returned to the Arthur show. I’d labored on CSS all night, a constant stream of water dripping sounds accompanying, courtesy of H.o.p.’s computer and a browser window he’d left open on Brainpop world. Altering my reality would have been as simple as me putting one foot on the floor, leaning over and turning down the speakers on his computer. But I’m so used to H.o.p. using these sound clips as background atmosphere, even when he’s asleep I don’t think to turn them off. That lethargy may change now. I’ve got new speakers on my computer, my others having died, and they are some good sounding speakers with bass end. Some of the music on websites H.o.p. likes to visit sounds considerable-different. His eyes go wide. Wow.

Lionelhampton.nl has a lot of samples available which is what I’m going through now, a couple of days later, Arthur again on because H.o.p. is crazy about cartoons. He likes the xylophone too. “Where’s that music coming from?” he asks. I show him. “Can I keep that song?” Sure thing.

Yesterday I posted the ramble on Loon via Coulter, which I’d written Sunday but quite often it takes me several days to decide, yeah, maybe I’ll go ahead and post. So last night I dreamt about my junior high…

Continue reading I was back at the bottom of the hill, it was night, and I had started my walk up it

H.o.p.’s itinerary for the day

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H.o.p.’s itinerary

Who wouldn’t like a daily itinerary like this one? There’s at top (1) going to the office supply store to get paper (drawing of pen and paper to the right) (2) going to the “singing store” to make CDs (computer and CD case just left of musical note house) to give to (3 fingered hands on the right exchanging CD) someone at a music store (4) and then going to the video store to get a video (upper right is a video box) and then at last to the toy store (bottom left) to get a Dino Rider, a T Rex toy they stopped making in 1988 (the handsome creature on the bottom right). Yes, there was no Dino Rider, but H.o.p. had to see for himself there was no Dino Rider. “There may be one. They may have it. I might be wrong and I might be right. But let’s go find out.”

Of course he comes home with a 2 pack of Transformers and another Mega Bloks Dragon for his collection.

H.o.p.’s a dramatic one. He didn’t want to go to the grocery store. By then, he said, he was so tired, “I’m going to pass out.” When he was told he wouldn’t have milk or toilet paper all night he changed his mind.

He’s still loving his reading program. He did two episodes yesterday just for fun, taking digipics of the screen which is what he does. On his computer right now is a Brainpop flash he’s been watching for three days now. Moby and Tim educate on “Flight”. Tim gets air sickness and vomits. (They know what kids like.) H.o.p. stopped the animation on Tim in mid upchuck and so, well, there it is, in our supposed dining room that functions as a computer/living/work room, glance over from the table and there is Tim regurgitating perpetually.